Hey there, Lucky Bee!
A question for you: How do you feel about managing a big team? Do you think it’s the only way to be mega-successful?
Does the idea excite you, or does it make you want to run away and throw in your business for an easy life?
If your answer’s Option #2, your fears and worries around hiring a team could be blocking you from up-leveling your business.
And if that’s the case, I have some great news for you. Getting your biz to six figures and beyond doesn’t mean you HAVE to bring a whole load of staff on board.
After all, I run a million-dollar business, and I still don’t have a big full-time team.
Want to find out how? Today’s video will take you behind the scenes in my business, and get you rethinking the role that a team needs to play in yours. (There’s even a link to a free workshop at the end that helps you figure out the most effective way to upgrade your business!)
Prefer to listen? Click here.
Newsflash: business success doesn’t require a huge team!
When people find out that I have a million-dollar business, they assume one of two things.
The first is that I must work crazy hours to make that kind of income. (Ummm, nope – the truth is that I work less now than I ever did!)
The second is that I must have a huge team helping me. (And NOPE again!)
I’m not saying I do it all on my own. I don’t know a single successful entrepreneur who can honestly claim that. But I discovered pretty early on that I’m an introvert who loves working alone whenever possible.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I freaking HATE managing people. Even in my corporate career, I was always the “lone wolf” who sought out projects where I didn’t have to work with anyone.
So really, setting my business up in a way that forced me to constantly be in “supervisor mode” just wouldn’t work for me.
A lot of people are surprised to find out that team costs took up less than 20% of my biz income last year, and that I still don’t have full-time staff.
So how have I managed to grow my business with such a lean team? It all comes down to two guiding principles.
Get the right people doing the right things
I’ve heard way too many stories of Lucky Bees who assumed that hiring an assistant was just “what you did” once you hit a certain level. So they brought someone on board before their business was ready for it… and then instantly regretted it.
Look, I’ve done it myself. My first hire was a Virtual Assistant team of two that I just wasn’t ready for. I had no freaking idea of how to delegate tasks to them, or how to manage them once I’d given them those tasks.
Every morning, they’d send me an email asking for jobs; and I started giving them the most random things to do, just to fill their day. I don’t need to tell you that it wasn’t the smartest investment ever.
So instead of moving me towards the chillpreneur lifestyle I wanted, having those VAs on board stressed me out bigtime. So very not ideal!
My best hire was an online business manager who helped me figure out all the strategic stuff. Once I’d laid that groundwork, I could get much smarter about delegating the right tasks to an assistant.
So what tasks should you hire out first? Run down this list:
- Things that stress you out: book keeping tasks, customer service, scheduling clients, or sending your newsletter out.
- Things that will START making you more money: this could be a Facebook ads specialist, a launch manager or someone to help you finish your course.
- Things that STOP you making money: amateurish graphic design that stops you getting amazing clients, or a website that’s broken or not mobile responsive. Hire people to fix those things so that you can easily attract new clients or take orders.
NONE of these people have to be full time. But the choice to hire every person has to move you towards your ultimate goal, instead of just be for the sake of making a hire.
Don’t be afraid to start small
Let me emphasize again – you don’t have to jump “all in” and hire your team members full-time (or even part-time). None of these roles even have to be ongoing.
With an assistant, it’s totally OK to start small, and just pay for a few hours each week. When I hired my assistant the second time around, I started off with just five hours a week.
At that point, she was mostly responsible for customer service (taking a huge amount of stress off my back), and then we gradually expanded her role. Every 6-9 months, I’ve added to her hours; and now she works 30 hours a week for me.
And you can hire most other team members (graphic designers, copywriters, video editors, marketing strategists, etc.), on a purely project-by-project basis.
I really like batching in my business, and when I hire people, I see how we can make it a short-term, high-intensity project. For example, you could hire someone to create a year’s worth of social media content.
The key is to figure out what’s going to make YOUR life as easy as possible, and what’s most in line with your personality.
Curious about my current team?
Remember, I started out with ONE assistant for five hours a week. Then I added a bookkeeper and graphic design experts.
I got to a six-figure level in my business with just my assistant and book keeper, and I created a million-dollar revenue with only a few more contractors helping me.
Now here’s my current team, their hours and responsibilities
Recently I’ve started increasing my team as we’re planning for a huge amount of growth in the next year. So now it includes:
Assistant – 30 hours a week
- Inbox management (mostly customer service stuff)
- Sending interview pitches (for me to be interviewed)
- Looking after affiliates (including paying them)
- Doing my newsletter
- Managing the blog (including everything from transcription to editing)
- … and really a thousand other things…
Customer service – 10 hours a week
- Inbox support and dealing with routine questions (more complicated stuff is sent to my main assistant)
- Helping with my Facebook community (approving new members, monitoring reported posts, etc.)
- Fielding all the various inboxes (like Facebook messages)
- Generally being an extra pair of hands when things get busy.
SEO – a few hours a month
- Making sure posts have the right tags and headings, and are search engine optimized.
- Batching everything a month in advance.
Analytics – a few hours a month
- Making sure conversions are being tracked
- Keeping an eye on our Google Analytics.
Bookkeeper and accountant – retainer basis
- Preparing monthly reports
- Preparing my quarterly and yearly tax statements.
I also meet with my accountant quarterly for business and tax planning (so I don’t end up being surprised by how much I’ll owe).
Plus I regularly hire people on a project-by-project basis for services that include:
- Editing and transcription: we hire out batch jobs where a transcriptionist might transcribe 20 videos in a row, and then nothing for months. Ditto with editing blog posts, or other editing jobs.
- Video editing: again, I batch video production months, or even a year, in advance. This also includes turning videos into audio podcasts, and adding closed captions to the videos.
- Social media: I know pretty far in advance what kind of content I want on my social media accounts (for example, every few days I post one of my oracle cards). That can all be batched and scheduled ahead of time.
- Graphic design (retainer and project basis): last year, I up-leveled my branding – including a new website and a complete overhaul of my Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp – which all takes time. As I write this post, my designer is also upgrading most of the smaller assets (e.g. my free courses).
- Launch experts: a few times a year, I’ll hire someone to help me with marketing funnels or to tweak my launch strategy.
- Facebook ads: I’ll often have someone set up the ads for launches.
This SEEMS like a big team, but my only ongoing commitment is my assistant and book keeping / tax team. And both of these roles started out small, stayed that way for many years, and only escalated as the business demanded it.
I just hire everyone else on the team when I actually need them (and their work is often directly tied to money-making activities anyway).
Some of these smaller roles, you can easily do yourself at the start of your business, and just add in a few people as your income grows.
What would your perfect million-dollar business look like?
Some of my seven-figure mastermind buddies have 20-person full-time teams. Others just hire contractors like I do. There’s no right or wrong.
It’s so freeing to really get that you don’t have to set up your business in any particular way to be successful. I know a lot of gurus out there claim there’s “one true method”, but honestly, I think that’s BS.
The truth is that it’s 100% a case of “your biz, your rules” (that should totally be a hashtag, by the way).
But the question is, what ARE your rules? What would an ideal day in your mega-successful business actually look like? Who would you have on your perfect team, and what would they do for you? And – just as importantly – what would they NOT do?
What should you upgrade first in your business?
If you’re a little fuzzy on the details, I have a free workshop that will help you figure it out. It’ll guide you through the most important parts of your business to identify what you need to upgrade next to break through to the next income level.
Once you’re clear on that, you can start thinking about taking the steps to actually make it happen.
To get started, watch the webinar for free at www.LuckyBitch.com/Upgrade
It’s your time, and you’re TOTALLY ready for the next business step.
Did you miss last week’s post? Read it here: How to Set an Income Goal